500,000 Clinician Voices Heard: An Arch Collaborative Milestone - Cover

500,000 Clinician Voices Heard: An Arch Collaborative Milestone

The KLAS team recently announced that we have hit a big milestone—since the establishment of the Arch Collaborative in 2017, more than 500,000 clinicians have taken the Arch Collaborative survey! 2023 was our best year yet with over 108,000 clinicians participating in the survey.

Let’s put that into perspective for a minute. The average Arch Collaborative survey is 12 minutes long, meaning that clinicians of Arch Collaborative member organizations spent over 6 million minutes participating in this survey. Especially in an industry where every minute counts for clinicians and patients, that is no small number. We’re deeply grateful for all the organizations that have participated in this effort.

Thanks to the commitment of these organizations to improving their EHR experience, the Arch Collaborative is home to a vast amount of data and insights on the topic of EHR satisfaction. Having such in-depth data makes it possible for us to publish research on best practices and strategies for improving at any organization.

While everything we’ve learned from the Arch Collaborative is hard to sum up in one post, we’d like to share the top six learnings we’ve taken away from the data over the years.

Learning 1: Continued Relevance of the Three Pillars

Starting with some of our earliest data, we identified three essential elements that make for a successful user experience in the EHR. Today, thousands of surveys later, we continue to see the three pillars remain at the top as the best approach. The three pillars are that end users need to be trained, they need to have a supportive organization, and they need to be able to personalize their system. The next three learnings below are connected to these pillars.

Learning 2: Move Beyond the Basics

We’ve learned that the type of training you offer doesn’t matter nearly as much as making sure that it moves beyond the basics of “this button does this.” It’s important to show clinicians how the EHR can support them in their efforts to better provide care. Additionally, it is important to make the education you share as specialty specific as possible.

Learning 3: Clinicians Must Have a Voice

To improve both the reality and the perception that your organization delivers well, clinicians need to have a voice. Supportive organizations are great at listening and then acting on the feedback. Clinicians need the ability to request optimizations, and any changes from that point need to be well communicated. If communication isn’t in place, your clinicians aren’t going to trust the organization to deliver a good experience in the EHR.

Learning 4: Address Individual Pain Points

Personalization has expanded in scope, meaning it’s less about how an individual personalization (like a single note template) is going to make an impact and more about finding the solution to a clinician’s specific pain point. This varies from person to person. For example, for some, that means building out order sets, and for others, it means using generative AI with speech recognition.

Learning 5: The Importance of a Strong Technical Foundation

Having a strong technical foundation means that your technology functions properly and as promised. If your clinicians don’t feel like your EHR system is reliable or responding quickly enough, your satisfaction just will not improve. You cannot out-train a technical glitch or loading screen. The system also needs to not interrupt care. If a clinician can’t access the EHR due to loading time, cumbersome login processes, or the computer being unavailable, then it’s nearly impossible to reach high satisfaction.

On the surface, this concept probably seems like common sense to many readers. However, we find that we are still sharing and using this same story with organizations seven years later.

Learning 6: The Role of the EHR in Burnout

While the EHR is a contributor to burnout, we’ve found that it is not the main contributor. It is a multifactorial problem with varying solutions depending on the individual situation. But there are some key things that stand out in the EHR as clear indicators that someone is burning out. One indicator is that the user is inefficient with their EHR and spending more than five hours a week charting, or they feel like they’re spending too much time in the EHR.

We can now deliver scorecards to organizations detailing financial risk based on how much burnout their clinicians experience because of their EHR.

Looking Ahead

The Arch Collaborative is only going to continue to grow globally. The things we’re learning from the Arch Collaborative apply beyond just the EHR in the US. We’ve had dozens of organizations survey in Canada, England, Wales, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia, Brazil, and beyond. In fact, more than 50,000 clinicians from outside of the United States have shared their feedback with us.

KLAS also plans to continue exploring and finding more ways to help with this growing data. Up to now, the Arch Collaborative has primarily looked at EHR optimization. But there are also ways we can help with situations like mergers and acquisitions or organizations moving to a completely new EHR. We’re beginning to look at best practices for implementing and starting over with a new EHR. We want to learn about what an implementation is like from the end-user perspective.

We are also trying to find solutions to the message-burden crisis that providers are facing today and what organizations are doing to combat it. We want to learn more about the impact of recent AI development in this space, specifically with ambient voice, AI generative notes, and chart summarization. We’re asking whether it’s even a possibility for clinicians to be able to eliminate the administrative burden expected of them in the EHR as technology better automates things.

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